Threat, or opportunity? Lock the Gate response to review of water trigger

Published: December 02, 2015

Lock the Gate Alliance says a review of the EPBC water trigger by the Federal Government is an opportunity to ensure that there is Federal oversight of the impacts of shale and tight gas mining on water resources.

When the water trigger was created in 2013, it was applied only to coal mining and coal seam gas, but Lock the Gate Alliance says all forms of unconventional gas have the potential to damage and degrade the nation’s water resources, and that the review provided the opportunity to correct the oversight and ensure that unconventional gas mining in Western Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western and South Australia did not harm the continent’s most important groundwater.

National Coordinator of Lock the Gate Alliance, Phil Laird said, “It’s no secret the Government has been trying to stop, repeal or gut the water trigger ever since it was introduced. This review fits with that agenda, but we see it as an opportunity.

“Graziers, wine-growers and traditional owners in the Queensland Channel country, the red centre, coastal South Australia and the beautiful remote coast of Western Australia have their water resources under threat of unconventional gas not covered by the water trigger.

“Community people from right across Australia have trekked at short notice to Canberra many times to defend this important legislative protection of the nations water.

Any attempt by the Government to gut or wreck the water trigger will be fought tooth and nail by landholders around the country, but this is also a chance to fix a gap, and we welcome it.”

Further details on the Independent Review of the 2013 Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act amendment - Water Trigger: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/what-is-protected/water-resources/review

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